Cell differentiation and p38^MARK cascade are inhibited in human osteoblasts cultured in a three-dimensional clinostat
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A three-dimensional (3D) clinostat is a device for multidirectional G force generation. By controlled rotation of two axes, a 3D clinostat cancels the cumulative gravity vector at the center of the device and produces an environment with an average of 10^-3 G over time. We cultured a human osteoblast cell line in a 3D clinostat and examined the growth properties and differentiation of the cells, including morphology, histological detection of calcification, and mitogenactivated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. In a normal 1G condition, alkaline phosphatase (AIPase) activity was detected on day 7 of culture, bone nodules were formed on day 12, and calcium deposits were seen on day 20. In the 3D clinostat, the cell looked larger and bulged. AIPase activity was detected on day 10 of culture. However, neither bone nodules nor calcification was found in the 3D clinostat up to day 21. The expression levels of core-binding factor A1 (a transcription factor for bone formation) and osteocalcin (a bone matrix protein) increased in the control culture but decreased in culture in 3D clinostat. Phosphorylation of p38^MARK (p38) was repressed in culture in 3D clinostat, whereas total p38 as well as total and phosphorylated forms of extracellular signal-regulated kinases and stress-activated protein kinase/jun N-terminal kinase were not changed in the 3D clinostat. When a p38 inhibitor, SB 203580, was added to the culture medium in a normal 1 G environment, AIPase activity and formation of bone nodules and calcium deposits were strongly inhibited. On the other hand, they were inhibited only partially by a MARK kinase inhibitor, U-0126. On the basis of these results, it is concluded that (1) osteoblast differentiation is inhibited in culture in a 3D clinostat and (2) this inhibition is mainly due to the suppression of p38 phophorylation.
In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal
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